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GBDSS students, OPP play together with pride (6 photos)

Funds raised during Thursday's ball hockey event go towards the school's progress pride crosswalk

There were lots of goals scored at Georgian Bay District Secondary School Thursday.

But likely the biggest one didn’t occur on the playing field.

As Southern Georgian Bay OPP officers took on teams of students and staff during a ball hockey tournament at the back of the Hugel Avenue school, the overall goal of raising funds for a progress pride crosswalk brought everyone together.

OPP officers were joined at the event by the Midland and Penetanguishene firefighters along with County of Simcoe paramedics.

“On behalf of everyone, we are so excited to be here,” said Elana Durtnall, a constable with the local OPP detachment, which partnered with the school’s Equity and Inclusion Club to make the event a reality.

School principal Hailey McLean said it was important that the Equity and Inclusion students led the project from the beginning.

“This gives them a sense of ownership,” she said, noting the new progress pride (a reinterpretation of multiple iterations of the pride flag) crosswalk will be unveiled next month and painted right in front of the school’s entrance.

Barry Bedford serves as the Simcoe County District School Board’s principal of equity, diversity and inclusion.

“We’re here today to show our students that it’s more than just passive support,” Bedford said, noting it’s also important to bring first responders together with members of the  LGBTQ2S community. “We’re walking the walk.”

Bedford said that a recent student census found that 23 percent of the board’s student population from grades 8 to 12 identify under the LGBT umbrella.